Screwed by General Liability

Hi! Do any of you have thoughts on this? I carry $2mill in general liability insurance, and we were recently involved in a claim. One of my guys was on a job and scratched two windows while working, and unfortunately, they were on some super expensive massive windows. I inspected the two 3 inch scratches and thought best to make an insurance claim as the total replacement for the two panes was $4,000.

I made the claim and was told by my carrier, that the replacement panes wouldn’t be covered under my GENERAL LIABILITY WINDOW CLEANING POLICY because the windows were damaged while we were doing the work. They said they would only cover the scratches if they had happened by a ladder falling or some hap-hazard circumstances, that was inadvertently caused by our being there. But that damages caused by our actual work wouldn’t be covered.

Can you believe this SHIIIIIT! I am utterly infuriated by this. We carry General liability for Window Cleaning for this precise reason. Have any of you ever had to deal with this, and do you have any suggestions for a good full coverage general liability service.

Thank You!

I’m not sure of any exclusions that your policy may contain, but might be good to pay an attorney $50 to look it over for you. GL should cover property damage. If it doesn’t for some reason, pay to have the scratches removed instead of replacing the glass, then find different insurance.

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That is how I remember my old policy, as well as heard of other policies being. Things caused by workmanship were not covered, you would have to add to your policy to cover that type of damage (would have to ask your insurance company for that info).

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I’m in the scratch removal business, and I’m afraid this is how 99% of insurance companies respond in these situations. I say 99% because maybe an insurance company out there will cover, or sometimes offer $1000 in “workmanship” coverage. But in our actual experience 100% of the time insurance companies will not cover scratched glass. No matter what your agent may tell you.


Must know how your insurance works as frustrating as it seems.

It is usually well known in this industry.

I’m sorry man, that stinks. Search care, custody, and control and you will find some good topics, but honestly how I understand it even that won’t cover that much. Your best bet is to self insure by having a few thousand lying around. But then most of us can’t do that. I know I can’t yet. Best of luck on this one!

How were the windows scratched, with a razor?

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Yes, also learned the hard way just like you. Its actually in the language of the policy and I assumed, like you, things like that would be covered. I am sure you will get some good feedback here but you will have to cover this out of pocket.

Should change your title to screwed by not knowing your insurance.

Depending on the conditions is this something you damaged and is it for sure?

Agents will tell you you are covered but the majority don’t understand care custody and control. CCC is a special rider and will probably double your insurance.

Basically gl will NOT cover you if you scratch glass. It will cover you if you throw a ladder through the scratched glass.

Here’s the scenarios that they follow and read them very very very carefully to understand them.


There is a specific addition you need for your gl to cover this. I forget what it’s called now but I’ll see if I can find it. It basically covers you for damage while performing the work you are doing.

I found this:


It’s called an endorsement and will cover up to like 5-10k depending on the company.

This is why I stick with Joe Walters


2012ish had a similar experience. As the surface we were cleaning, and we are knowledgeable, was ruined it was not covered.

Switched to JW that year.

Had a claim this Spring. Was smooth sailing from start to finish.

It’s a 1/2 inch a water and ya think your gonna drown, thats the way the world goes round. You got this


Thank you Garry!

Thanks for the response. I intend on having an attorney look over the policy, and then contact the State Insurance Commissioner regarding this issue. I was sold the insurance through an agent who didn’t mention anything regarding a Property Damage Exclusion. At this point, I’m more pissed on principle of how they have treated me- in essence suggesting that property damage exclusions were common knowledge.

This is the first I’ve heard of Joe Walters. I’m assuming this is an insurance agent or policy? Any more information that you have on JW would be appreciated. Thank you.

Joe Walter’s only insured to 3 story

Thats fine. We don’t go higher! Contact info?

I had a couple rude awakenings when I had GL with Nationwide. Same basic deal as mentioned before- when tilting in a sash, I twisted it enough that the IG unit cracked. Not covered. An employee moved a piece of furniture and broke a plate glass window. Not covered.
Switched to Jos. Walters. Homeowner accused me of scratching a bunch of glass with my wfp of all things. He was wrong, but regardless, Walters covered up to $5000.
Kind of ironic that if I had been dishonest about the first 2 events I may have gotten away with being covered. In the last instance the homeowner was dishonestly using my insurance and was covered. Crazy world we live in.